Albert & Otto: The Adventure Begins – PS4 Review

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Taking place in a desolate 1939 Germany, Albert & Otto is a puzzle style platformer in the vein of Limbo. Albert is looking for his sister Anna, who was taken by shadowy individuals and it’s up to Albert to find her. Upon finding Anna’s stuffed rabbit Otto, Albert finds himself with new abilities to help him on his quest. The thing is; does Albert really gain abilities from Otto? Or did he already have the latent powers? Or is he slowly losing his mind?

Gameplay:

Albert & Otto takes place over five levels. Albert traverses through the levels jumping over obstacles, shooting crows, and using Otto in inventive ways. In between the tricky platforming you must use your abilities and Otto himself to solve puzzles. You can drop Otto to use as a weight or send him down a chute to move ahead or activate some switch by having him zap it.

You also have a gun in order to protect yourself and with Otto, Albert can double jump or grab objects and levitate them. You will mostly be levitating sheep and moving them, impaling them on spikes so you can cross spikes or setting them on fire in order to have a light. The sheep make a horrifying blood-curdling scream when you abuse them.

As fun as the game is and as inventive and interesting as the puzzles are there is a problem. The game can, at times, have severe issues with activation points. At times Otto can seem weightless refusing to activate a plate, usually when you are in a hurry. It is only through having to redo puzzles over and over again does it finally take. Another recurrent issue is that when Albert steps on a moving platform he does not keep pace with it, either keep walking or remain completely still as the platform moves on without you. This is a real damper on things and takes enjoyment away from what should be a great experience.

Controls:

The controls are as follows; the left stick moves Albert. The right stick aims your gun or at what you levitate. L1 picks up or drops Otto. R1 Levitates objects, R2 shoots your gun. X jumps, you can double jump if you are holding Otto. Square makes Otto zap whatever is close to him. The controls more than get the job done and feel very intuitive.

Graphics:

The games visuals are all most all black, white, and gray with the only exception being Otto who is red. Albert is a completely white silhouette, practically a pallet swap from the main character of Limbo. There is certainly inspiration drawn here. The dark look and feel certainly make the game feel dark and wore down much like I’m sure Germany was like in 1939. Repression fills the air and the game gets that point across perfectly.

Music/Sound: 

The sound is mostly metal gears, wind and industrial nerves. The music is brash and it feels like it came from old WWII propaganda films.  This game is dark and the low sounds and depressing music help build this bleak tale.

Summary:

“Albert & Otto: The Adventure Begins” has the makings for another instant classic like Limbo but alas, the collision issues and switches and plates not wanting to work really detract from the experience. My grade would have been much higher if only these issues were addressed. As is, the game is ok but it could have been so much more.

Pros

  • Haunting visuals
  • Compelling, although unfinished, story
  • Interesting puzzles when they work

Cons: 

  • Very Short
  • Puzzle triggers can be bugged or not work at all
  • Cliffhanger!

Rating: B-

Disclaimer: A digital copy of the game was provided by Digerati for review purposes.

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